Did you know that in most buildings, up to 50% of the energy used in a building is caused by its heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system? And did you know that 30% of this energy consumption is directly related to the air filter in the system? In January 2015, a new European energy standard for air filters (Eurovent 4/21) was established. Eurovent 4/21 allows you to understand the true energy cost associated with air filters and to easily identify air filters with the lowest energy usage. Under this new standard, all air filters (from M5 to F9, according to EN779:2012) are now measured and graded from ‘A+’ to ‘E’. ‘A+’ stands for air filters that have the lowest energy consumption, with ‘E’-grade filters having the highest energy consumption. This new standard supersedes the previous standard, Eurovent 4/11, and places higher requirements on the air-filter manufacturers to supply these products to the market.

Filter Class 2015 M5 M6 F7 F8 F9
ME - - ME> 35% ME> 55% ME> 70%
A+ 0-450 kWh 0-550 kWh 0-800 kWh 0-1000 kWh 0-1250 kWh
A >450 kWh – 600 kWh >550 kWh – 650 kWh >800 kWh – 950kWh >1000kWh – 1200kWh >1250kWh - 1450 kWh
B >600 kWh – 700 kWh >650 kWh – 800 kWh >950 kWh – 1200 kWh >1200 kWh – 1500 kWh >1450 kWh – 1900 kWh
C >700kWh – 950 kWh >800 kWh – 1100 kWh >1200 kWh – 1700 kWh >1500 kWh – 2000 kWh >1900 kWh – 2600 kWh
D >950 kWh – 1200 kWh >1100 kWh – 1400 kWh >1700 kWh – 2200 kWh >2000 kWh – 3000 kWh >2600 kWh – 4000 kWh
E >1200 kWh >1400 kWh >2200 kWh >3000 kWh >4000 kWh
In your HVAC system, air filters are the main consumable product and need regular changing – this could be once every six months, once a year or once every two years. It depends on the quality of the bag filter, the airflow that is needed to ventilate your building properly and the cleanliness of the outdoor air surrounding your building. Each of these factors will contribute to the lifetime associated with your air filter.

The economical change point

New PictureMany people believe that air filters should be changed roughly once every six months or once per year (depending on when the planned preventative maintenance schedule is). In fact, the lifetime of an air filter should not be focused on a specific time period, but instead be focused around the economical change point of the air filter. The economical change point of an air filter refers to the point where it is more advantageous to replace the air filter than it is to keep an old air filter in place, as the energy cost associated to it becomes so high. At Camfil, a leader in the manufacture and supply of clean-air technology, it is recommended that bag filters (for HVAC units) should be changed out when your system reaches 250Pa. Depending on the quality of the air filter (energy rating, structure – i.e. glass fibre vs synthetic material – and efficiency levels), this can vary from six months to over two years in some cases. With the new energy standard (Eurovent 4/21), along with the European standard for air filter classification (EN779:2012), it is now much easier to understand the quality of the air filter that is being used in your facility. The Eurovent Certified Performance Label must be displayed on all bag filters that have been tested and certified to European standards. These labels must clearly show the following:
  1. The manufacturing company’s name, the make and model of the filter;
  2. Both the initial and minimum efficiency measure at 0.4micron;
  3. The annual energy consumption of the air filter at a nominal airflow rate;
  4. The energy classification (‘A+’ to ‘E’).
Armed with this information, you can properly compare like-for-like air filters easily and you can also understand the energy consumption that is associated with the air filter. This allows you to determine the best filtration solution for your facility to best meet its particular needs.

Can you reduce energy costs in my HVAC system?

By using Camfil’s life-cycle cost software, you can find out how much you can save by changing to low-energy air filters before you commit to the changeover. This software not only takes into account the initial cost of the air filter, but it also accounts for the lifetime of each air filter, the energy consumption, the cost of labour and the cost of waste in changing out these air filters. Contact Camfil today to get a full life-cycle cost report done for your facility and find out what savings you can make by changing to Camfil low-energy air filters.